Post # 16
Also just wanted to say all of this: “I know it isn’t fair of me, but I just want to ignore all of this half the time and bang my head against a wall the other half. I don’t always have time to check in with him about his feelings anymore. If he’s feeling a certain way, I need him to tell me” is totally legit! I absolutely felt like that too.
Post # 17
It sounds like you’re in a much better position to work this out; I’m really glad.
Just remember that this is going to be a process. From my own struggles with mental health, I know that my partner found it really challenging to one day have this really cathartic and illuminating chat with me, only for me to turn around a week later and go to pieces all over again. It wasn’t until I sought professional help that we were able to break this pattern, and I could not be happier with my decision. You and your husband may be able to sort this out together with patience, love, and communication, but please don’t hesitate to seek help if it’s not working. Seeking help doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough or that you’re not trying hard enough; it means that mental health is complicated and you wouldn’t try to treat a complicated physical illness without help.
I wish you love and support for the journey ahead.
Post # 18
My husband and I experienced the roughest period of our relationship–and we’ve been together for almost 15 years now–around our daughter’s 3 1/2 month mark (she is 5 months now)! We had a huge heart to heart that was really difficult and emotional, and I was really scared to talk to him about it at the time (which was so unusual since we’ve always had wonderful communication), but our talk really helped us both process this enormous transition and understand what we needed from each other.
Having a child is a HUGE shift. We were just the two of us, with our rhythm and routines that worked great for us, for soooo long. And suddenly there’s this third person who’s always here and always needs our attention, and we don’t ever get to take a break or sleep, and our roles have changed and our routines have been completely disrupted.
My husband expressed similar feelings about me taking over or taking charge all the time and unintentionally making him feel a little left out. He would worry a lot that she didn’t love him. I tried to balance it out by giving him tonssss of praise and letting him know I see what a great father he is and how much effort he gives. Even if she can’t understand it right now and mostly just wants her mommy, one day she’ll understand and appreciate how much he tries and how much he loves her. I don’t think it’s possible to give too many compliments 🙂 – it seems to make him feel more confident and reassured that he’s doing the right thing. I’ve also tried to step back sometimes (using my judgment about how dire it is for me to immediately grab her or not) and let them have their moment. He’s figured out his own ways of comforting her and interacting with her that works for them. Even if I think they’re kind of weird/funny. It’s also gotten easier as she’s become older and more aware of things and better able to communicate with us.
Another thing that’s helped is for both of us to be more vocal in appreciating each other. Even as simple as, “Thank you for changing her diaper just now; I know you feel tired.” Again, even if we say this to each other 5x a day, it doesn’t get old. It feels good to feel appreciated and to feel like we’re really in this together.
I think getting everything out in the open really worked for us and got us back on track. He said at the time he felt guilty for struggling because I had it harder and i was doing so much more. So helping each other feel like our emotions were valid was important. And just going easy on each other. It’s hard! Parts of it suck! But it’s also the most amazing and beautiful experience in the world, and we wouldn’t want to go through this without each other!
Post # 19
I won’t pretend to know what that kind of loss feels like, because I can’t even imagine, but you and your husband went through it together. He also might not be feeling strong enough to have that conversation, maybe it would bring you closer.
I totally get how hard it is to stand back and let your husband handle something like your baby crying and watch him handle it totally different than you would. It’s almost physically painful to not intervene. But as I learned sometimes you have to. You have to force yourself to invisibly tie your hands behind your back and put tape over your mouth and let your husband have a chance if he is trying, and not hurting the baby or doing something totally inappropriate, you just have to let him try. He has told you now this specific example – so you know how to build a bridge now. Let your husband hold your son while he cries. Let him provide the support sometimes. If you have to step in and readjust your son’s head or something or give your son a kiss and reassure him that Mommy’s here too, do it but let him stay in your husbands arms. Trust me – down the road when you find yourself wondering why your husband doesn’t step in, this will be why if you keep taking over.
Post # 20
- Wedding: September 2014 - Merritt Winery
Well Bees, your advice has definitely helped me. I took advice from Sunshine09:
and let him know my struggles. I wrote him a letter saying that I’m having a hard time reconciling the fact that our DS is here but our girls aren’t. I also told him that the love I feel for DS scares me. It makes me feel weak and vulnerable, so I need him to be my emotional support like he always was. I told him again that I need him more than ever because of that. It seems to have helped. He’s been more confident the last few days.
After he read my letter, he asked if I had noticed that he put the box that had the girls’ stuff away. I said yes but I was too afraid to bring it up. He said it was too hard to keep looking at it after DS came along.
I’ve also tried to be really encouraging and try watching my “I’m tired and cranky” tone. He got to spend all day with DS while I was at work the other day and that helped too. He said it was a good day he got to give him a bath by himself and just hang out.
Thanks again, bees. As usual, I can bring an issue and get great advice and help from awesome women!
Post # 21
That’s great to hear! Lean on eachother. Life can be very hard and unfair sometimes but it can also be wonderful too. Nothing will test your relationship like a new baby! So just know that that part is normal. You will get on track 😉